The state government has decided to fund educational expenses of children from more than four lakh farmers' families facing financial troubles, in six Vidarbha districts.
"With a view to encourage the children of farmers to complete their education, the government has sanctioned Rs 14.18 crore for their educational expenses by choosing 4.34 lakh families in Vidarbha who are facing an extreme financial crisis," said a senior official from School Education Department.
Students from Classes 1 to 12 from Amaravati, Akola, Yavatmal, Buldhana, Washim and Wardha districts will get a complete fee waiver and Rs 500 every year to buy textbooks and other material apart from scholarships, the official said.
The initiative has been taken after the Narendra Jadhav panel appointed by the government in 2007 to probe the farmers' suicides, recommended to provide educational facilities to the children of the farmers in suicide-prone areas.
"Based on the recommendation, a survey was carried out by the Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission in Vidarbha which found that 8.89 lakh farmers were debt ridden. Of these, 4.34 lakh were in extreme financial crisis," he said.
The government decided to provide educational help to their children and approved a proposal in this regard in December 2008. However the funds have been sanctioned this year, he added.